Rumours: WotC Announcement Today; Insider Email Reveals Plans

There's a couple of rumours going round today. I cannot verify either, but I'm reporting them as most of the recent OGL rumours have proven true.

Screen Shot 2023-01-09 at 10.45.12 AM.png


First -- it is rumoured that today at 3pm ET Wizards of the Coast will make some kind of video statement about the current Open Game License situation. This rumour came from the folks at Roll For Combat who were the first to break the draft OGL scoop.

[[UPDATE -- This didn't happen!]]

Second -- an email has been circulating from an anonymous WotC insider. Again, I must reiterate I cannot myself verify this, so read this with that in mind, but the email says:

Hi,

I'm an employee at WotC currently working on D&Dbeyond (DDB) and with D&D business leaders on the health of the product line. If you want I can provide proof of this.

I'm sending this message because I fear for the health of a community I love, and I know what the leaders at WOTC are looking at:

-They are briefly delaying rollout of OGL changes due to the backlash.
-Their decision making is based entirely on the provable impact to their bottom line.
-Specifically they are looking at DDB subscriptions and cancellations as it is the quickest financial data they currently have.
-They are still hoping the community forgets, moves on, and they can still push this through.

I have decided to reach out because at my time in WotC I have never once heard management refer to customers in a positive manner, their communication gives me the impression they see customers as obstacles between them and their money, the DDB team was first told to prepare to support the new OGL changes and online portal when they got back from the holidays, and leadership doesn't take any responsibility for the pain and stress they cause others. Leadership's first communication to the rank and file on the OGL was 30 minutes on 1/11/23, This was the first time they even tried to communicate their intentions about the OGL to employees, and even in this meeting they blamed the community for over-reacting.

I will repeat, the main thing this leadership is looking at is DDB subscription cancellations.

Hope your day goes well,

P.S. I will be copying and pasting this message to other community leaders.


If both rumours are true, I guess at 3pm ET today we'll find that out.
 
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad


log in or register to remove this ad



Ondath

Hero
Paizo, these are the same guys who had to be publicly shamed and browbeat into not oppressing their workforce like a year ago. Yet here we are, people have moved on. So the cycle goes.
To be fair, now they are a unionised company, so I feel so much better about supporting them. Not to mention their open support for inclusivity for a long time (I remember PF1E's core class characters all being canonically bi).

Sure, they messed up a year ago, but they are certainly in a good place now.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
To be fair, now they are a unionised company, so I feel so much better about supporting them. Not to mention their open support for inclusivity for a long time (I remember PF1E's core class characters all being canonically bi).

Sure, they messed up a year ago, but they are certainly in a good place now.
Hence my point. Corporation caved into public pressure, people moved on. They wouldn't have done the right thing without that pressure, same as WotC, and same as Paizo WotC can walk any controversy off.
 

Warpiglet-7

Cry havoc! And let slip the pigs of war!
For me this is pretty simple. This is not a moral issue. A company has a right to fence off their IP.

However, I like it when they are more liberal. I have access to more products I like. I enjoy the 5e conversions of keep on the borderlands. I like that there are non WOTC things I can buy for 5e. I like retro clones.

This is why I am not BUYING any more WOTC stuff until they recant and revise.

It’s not a grand moral crusade for me. It’s the power of pressure by numbers. Sure I feel bad it hurts the bottom line of indie designers. But this is all about money to wotc and avoiding entanglements when their brand “really takes off.” Our movie, our show, our tabletop.

Cool. I get it. But they will see surely some drop in rpg sales…maybe. They will lose mine because I want them to do what I want.

My fear is like Ford not fixing exploding pintos, they have done the math and those they lose will be made up for x 10. We shall see.

But I will help them test that assumption. I could pout or rage against the machine. what I am going to do is just not give them my money and let them know why.

I hope small game companies can pivot or last until this passes. We shall see. Business is a bitch.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I know not everybody shares this opinion but for me, my reason is that I don't want to have to pay twice for the content in a book I already bought.
No offense, but IMO while that is valid as a “I don’t wanna”, it isn’t like, a “really good reason” in a general sense. Like, any individual reason is valid, it’s your money. But it isn’t like…something that actually makes ddb a bad deal.

Especially since it isn’t buying the same thing twice, it’s buying the character builder and digital compendium optimized version, and the hardback at the table version. They’re two distinct products.
Or they are operating under the belief that “deauthorizing” the OGL won’t actually effect stuff that isn’t made for OneDnD.
 



Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
So I paid for a year Dndbeyond sub a couple months back before all this happened. I have some encounters built (your limited to 5 I think with the free account, I needed more). If I cancel my sub will I lose all those encounters I've built for my game? I guess I'm going to wait and see what this video is about then decide. This sucks.
Boycotts are easy if there's no sacrifice. "Boycott tuna? Sure, I never eat it."

Character is when you are willing to hold your morals first even when it hurts.
 



Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Nobody ever writes a business plan that accounts for failure of any kind. Worst case scenarios are always "we only make X dollars instead of Y"
This isn't my experience. Risk analysis including mitigation plans are always part of project planning. If a business has grown to a certain size, it's pretty much guarenteed that failure points, how to recover from them, how to minimize the chance and/or impact of them, including spending time/effort/money up front, all all common procedures. At least everywhere I've worked the past 30 years, which has been large+ companies.
 



Bayushi_seikuro

Adventurer
The same John Wick who ran two hugely succesful Kickstarters, and understood the print business so well he completely ran out of money before printing most of the books owed and had to gey bailed out by Chaosium.

That John Wick?
That doesn't disprove my point you know. In fact, that would probably be why he can talk about modern costs and how we shouldn't expect hardcover books to cost $20 like they did in the 90s.
 

Bayushi_seikuro

Adventurer
As we're repeatedly told, you can have an endless amount of fun and play with the books you already have. The existence of D&D as an in-print game is completely irrelevant to my engaging with the hobby. I literally don't care about Habro or their shareholders. Let people make a bank run. If it takes nuking D&D as a game to prevent WotC from nuking most of the rest of the RPG industry, so be it. The only thing I need from WotC at this point is for the OGL to not burn.
Here's the problem I see with this:

It seems killing Hasbro and D&D will only make it harder to find gamers. Having these other ways for new players to discover gaming - whether from the Adventure Zone or CR, or even seeing the awesome D&D comic books - brings new, possibly interested eyes to grow the hobby with new blood. It helps the individual DM at a local level have a way to put a Reddit post up looking to introduce new players to D&D - forget things like Roll20 because there will be no new eyes there that are totally new to the hobby, only to systems they haven't played.

We're at a point where it's perceived by a decent amount of people of a DM shortage or even a player shortage, to the point where DMs are out charging $10-$20 PER PLAYER PER SESSION to play Netherdeep or Strahd. We don't all live in cities of 50k+ people or locations that can support even a single FLGS.
 

Bayushi_seikuro

Adventurer
I just had a random thought float through my head trying to catch up on this.

I read a lot of the other sites attached to Gizmodo - like io9 or Kotaku. The comments here remind me of when I read the comments over on their sites in the sense that... for example, the comments about Kumail Nanjiani's response to Scorcese and the MCU seem to all be heavily 'Your site only writes these articles because you have six hundred words due by noon'.

That being said, I just have the sense that there never was an announcement going to be made, and perhaps someone expected it to be covered during the weekly stream. That someone put out that they'd talk about it, figuring Twitch would be on fire to know answers and WotC would have to field it. WotC then saw all this uproar, and made the mistake of instead of coming out and saying 'No comment at the present time', they MADE no comment at all - either way, as someone said upthread, a comment or no comment will be taken the same way as a dodge.

I think it was Neil deGrasse Tyson that said on Joe Rogan, with conspiracy theories, our brains will accept absence of evidence AS an evidence.
 

mangamuscle

Explorer
This isn't my experience. Risk analysis including mitigation plans are always part of project planning. If a business has grown to a certain size, it's pretty much guarenteed that failure points, how to recover from them, how to minimize the chance and/or impact of them, including spending time/effort/money up front, all all common procedures. At least everywhere I've worked the past 30 years, which has been large+ companies.
My gut feeling tells me there was no plan B, they have taken for granted their customers for years (at least in D&D) and they felt they only needed to apply some pressure to 3pp for them sign in their contracts so they could start the year with a tabula rasa.

Now, whoever is in charge in like homer simpson when he wanted to make Lisa love him again, oh yeah, a pony, let's give them a pony. You will see.
 

Visit Our Sponsor

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top